Long passed away on Christmas Eve 2014 in the Florence Nightingale Hospice at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire after a short illness. Jim was 65 years-old and is survived by his wife, Ann, and their three children.
For the last five years, Jim has been the Director of Golf Pro Relations at Golfbreaks.com, a position to which he brought incredible enthusiasm and dedication. Jim organised a number of FAM trips for groups of fellow PGA Pro’s, helped to develop tuition breaks for the company as well as successfully running the Golfbreaks.com Pro-Ams and 4-ball Championships. He was also instrumental in the development of the company’s long-term partnerships with both The PGA and the PGA’s of Europe.
Chief Executive of Golfbreaks.com, Andrew Stanley, paid tribute to a wonderful colleague and dear friend on behalf of all 140 staff at the Windsor-based company.
“Jim was one of the most positive and likeable people imaginable and his contribution to the company over the last five years has been immense. His love of golf and love of people meant he was universally liked in the industry. Jim was also greatly respected as a pioneer in the world of golf travel and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. Our hearts go out to his family at this sad time.”
Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of The PGA and a long-time friend of Jim, also paid tribute: “We are all deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and PGA member, Jim Long. He was a great credit to the Association in every way, displaying all the qualities and values you’d expect from a PGA member, not least his boundless enthusiasm and positivity. Jim was also respected and admired by all who met him over the many years of his membership and will be greatly missed by those of us lucky enough to call him a friend.”
Having played for the England team as a young amateur, Jim achieved his dream of making it as a Touring professional, competing for four years on both the European and African Tours, including an appearance in the PGA Championship at Wentworth.
After his playing career ended Jim turned his attention to golf travel, founding Longshot Golf Holidays. Having established the company as one of the largest and most respected in the industry, Jim eventually sold Longshot to concentrate on his World Pro-Am Golf Tournaments.
Over the course of 20 years, Jim organised more than 150 successful tournaments in the likes of Arizona, Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Mexico, Spain and Portugal.
Also during this period, Jim helped a number of companies in his capacity as a golf advisor, including Dom Pedro Hotels, TWA Airlines and Trusthouse Forte Hotels.
He also served as General Manager at Sand Martins Golf Club in Wokingham, helping to complete the building of this club, as well as finding time to publish the best-selling book, ‘The Golf Rules Dictionary’.
A service of celebration and thanksgiving for Jim will take place tomorrow (Friday 9th January) at St Michael & All Angels Church, Hughenden, High Wycombe HP14 4LA at 1pm.